Policymakers & Advocates

About the Center for Consumer Advocacy

Policymakers & Advocates

About the Center for Consumer Advocacy

Who We Are

Together, the Consumer Advocacy team represents more than a century of knowledge and expertise in higher education financing.

Julie Lammers, Managing Director, Consumer Advocacy and Government Relations

Julie oversees ASA’s government relations efforts on both the federal and state level, helping to create and push legislative changes on behalf of consumers with student debt and facilitate ASA’s interaction with elected officials. Julie also manages ASA’s public policy, research, and advocacy efforts related to higher education, financial aid and student debt issues. Through this work, Julie coordinates research and special projects that examine the impact that student debt is having on consumers and develops policy solutions that will ease the debt burden on borrowers. Julie has been at ASA since March 2010.

Prior to ASA, Julie spent more than nine years working on higher education and various other issues as Congressional Aide to Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) and his successor, Senator Paul Kirk, Jr.(D-MA). Julie has a dual B.A.in political science and history from Northeastern University, a J.D. from Suffolk University Law School, a certificate in legislative studies from the Government Affairs Institute at Georgetown University, and is a member of the Massachusetts Bar.

Julie can be reached at: jryder@asa.org

Betsy Mayotte, Director, Consumer Outreach and Compliance

In her role, Betsy and her staff resolve loan issues for individual borrowers, as well as analyze data on borrower issues to recommend improvements to federal aid policies and processes. Additionally, she works with all ASA business units to ensure regulatory compliance and evaluate pending legislation for potential impact. As ASA’s principal regulatory subject matter expert, she has served as a primary negotiator for federal Title IV negotiated rulemaking sessions on topics such as the use of student loans at foreign schools and borrower defense to repayment, and has provided regulatory and technical support for most negotiated rulemaking sessions since 2006.

Betsy represents ASA on various student loan industry committees, including the National Council of Higher Education Resources Regulations Committee, the Common Manual Governing Board and the Massachusetts Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators Government Relations Committee. Betsy regularly advises consumers on planning and paying for college. She is a frequent contributor to U.S. News and World Report’s The Student Loan Ranger blog; responds to public inquiries via the saltmoney.org advice resource “Just Ask”; and is frequently quoted in traditional and social media on the topics of student loans and financial aid. Betsy graduated from Bentley College with a B.S. in Business Communications.

Betsy can be reached at: bmayotte@asa.org

Kevin Fudge, Director of Consumer Advocacy and Ombudsman

In his role as Ombudsman, Kevin facilitates borrower concerns and serves as a neutral party to resolve complex borrower challenges. He uses the trends he sees in Ombudsman cases to shape policies and regulations that the Center should address moving forward.

Kevin also works with policymakers, state agencies and non-profit organizations to improve college access, college completion rates and successful higher education debt management through raising public awareness about the college financing process. He provides effective solutions to complex student loan situations for members of federal and state government and their constituents. As a diligent advocate for consumers in the national conversation about student loan debt and higher education policy, Kevin provides innovative research and insightful analysis of federal student aid to national and local media, secondary school administrators, higher education professionals, and think tanks. Kevin is a graduate of the University of Virginia and received his master’s degree in Education Policy and Management from Harvard University.

Kevin can be reached at: kfudge@asa.org

Ashley Norwood, Consumer and Regulatory Advisor

Ashley is passionate about making higher education not only accessible but also affordable, with the goal of shifting the current paradigm to empower students and families to make college choices and determine borrowing strategies in a financially responsible way. In her role at ASA, Ashley works to resolve student loan issues that face individual borrowers, as well as recommends improvements to federal financial aid policies. She provides training and guidance regarding federal student loan topics including repayment, forgiveness, and discharge to internal associates and external groups.

Ashley has contributed articles to USA TODAY College and the Huffington Post Blog, advising consumers on planning and paying for college and how to manage student loans post-college. She is also a member of the Massachusetts Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, serving on the Early Awareness and Outreach Committee as well as the National Council of Higher Education Resources Regulations Committee. Prior to joining ASA in 2012, Ashley worked as a financial aid advisor at both the graduate and undergraduate level for six years. She graduated from the College of the Holy Cross with a B.A. in Economics.

Ashley can be reached at: anorwood@asa.org

Bob Cole, Director of Community Impact

Robert Cole is the Director of Community Impact at American Student Assistance (ASA). In his role, Robert works with higher education stakeholders to identify and address opportunities to affect college access, completion and how to transition students to the real world. Robert has been with ASA for twenty years and has played an instrumental role in the development and implementation of many of ASA’s strategic endeavors. He has a deep understanding of issues affecting college access and financing and is currently working with nonprofits and states to launch financial empowerment and education debt management programs to underserved students. Robert is a graduate of Bates College and is an avid reader of American history.

Bob can be reached at: rcole@asa.org

Caroline Menendez, Manager of Community Partnerships

With an extensive background in school financial aid administration, Caroline Menendez joined ASA in November 1999 and is currently serving on the Consumer Advocacy Team as the Manager of Community Partnerships. Caroline has been in the higher education industry for over 20 years, focusing on student loan receivables, default management and retention strategies. She has served as a Trainer and Client Service Manager for default management services, assisting schools with traditionally high default rates in default aversion strategies and techniques. Caroline has also worked as both a financial aid counselor and director, which has given her insight to students’ struggles with education debt both in school and after they leave campus. In her current position Caroline is working with organizations and associations to help connect those in need with Salt’s tools and resources.

Caroline can be reached at: cmenendez@asa.org

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